March Madness 2022: No. 11-ranked Michigan beat Tennessee in the second round, advancing to fifth straight Sweet 16

The biggest upset of the NCAA Tournament for Round 2 (so far!) arrived in Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon as the No. 11 seeded Michigan defeated Tennessee 76-68, in the process securing a ticket to the Sweet 16 for a fifth. March mad streak.

The Wolverines had a 7-point lead, but were nearly dead until the game with 12 lead changes, half a dozen ties and both teams splitting good runs with the lead before Michigan sprints to the finish line in crunch time.

Michigan welcomed back starting guard DeVante’ Jones into the lineup after he missed the team’s first-round game days before the Colorado State game because he had a concussion, and the early results were undeniable. The Wolverines got off to a hot start in the first half and made Tennessee uncomfortable, throwing Jones a pair of points, three boards and three assists.

Jones didn’t return in the second half, having hit his head on the field just before the break, opening a window for Tennessee to conduct the run. In the second half, freshman Kennedy Chandler poured 10 points and masterfully coordinated the Vols attack after some early hits. However, the Wolverines are still alive after their superstars come back to life, with Hunter Dickinson scoring 15 of his 27 points in the second half. Similarly, Eli Brooks scored 18 out of 23 in the second half to seal the victory.

“It’s all about the attention to detail, it’s also about sacrificing the whole group,” Michigan coach Joanne Howard said on CBS after the game. “It’s also about our employees being contacted with confidence.”

Tennessee took over at various points in the game behind a star-studded bid from Chandler, a real freshman and potential lottery pick, who finished with 19 points and nine assists. The Tennessee attack backed off to the end, although it missed each of its nine 3-pointer attempts in the second half and failed to generate enough firepower to keep pace with Michigan.

The Vols were one of the big surprises on Selection Sunday this year after winning 12 of their last 13 matches – including the SEC Championship – and somehow slipping back to the No. 3 seed despite a resume that is clearly good enough to be in the second streak. They beat Longwood in the first round by 32 points and looked destined to emerge in the second weekend, but Michigan’s size and scoring – even against the top five defense – was just too much.

The Wolverines’ surprise win comes just hours after the top seed Baylor vaulted out of the NCAA Championship at the hands of the No. 8 in North Carolina despite being a 5.5-point favorite. The Wolverines advance in the arc to face winner No. 2 seed Villanova and seed No. 7 Ohio State at Sweet 16 next week.

Reply